Monday, November 23, 2015

The ultimate in political correctness

Student leaders have pulled the mat out from 60 University of Ottawa students, ending a free on-campus yoga class over fears the teachings could be seen as a form of "cultural appropriation."
Jennifer Scharf, who has been offering free weekly yoga instruction to students since 2008, says she was shocked when told in September the program would be suspended, and saddened when she learned of the reasoning.
Staff at the Centre for Students with Disabilities believe that "while yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students ... there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice," according to an email from the centre.
The centre is operated by the university's Student Federation, which first approached Scharf seven years ago about offering yoga instruction to students both with and without disabilities.
The centre goes on to say, "Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced," and which cultures those practices "are being taken from."
The centre official argues since many of those cultures "have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy ... we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga."
The concept of cultural appropriation is normally applied when a dominant culture borrows symbols of a marginalized culture for dubious reasons -- such as the fad of hipsters donning indigenous headdresses as a fashion statement, without any regard to cultural significance or stereotype.
But Scharf, a yoga teacher with the downtown Rama Lotus Centre, said the concept does not apply in this case, arguing the complaint that killed the program came instead from a "social justice warrior" with "fainting heart ideologies" in search of a cause celebre.
"People are just looking for a reason to be offended by anything they can find," said Scharf.
"There's a real divide between reasonable people and those people just looking to jump on a bandwagon. And unfortunately, it ends up with good people getting punished for doing good things."
There were about 60 students who participated in the free program.
Acting student federation president Romeo Ahimakin denied the decision resulted from a complaint.
Ahimakin said the student federation put the yoga session on hiatus while they consult with students "to make it better, more accessible and more inclusive to certain groups of people that feel left out in yoga-like spaces. ... We are trying to have those sessions done in a way in which students are aware of where the spiritual and cultural aspects come from, so that these sessions are done in a respectful manner."
Scharf offered a compromise, suggesting she change the name from yoga to "mindful stretching," since that would reflect the content of the program and would "literally change nothing about the course."
"I'm not pretending to be some enlightened yogi master, and the point (of the program) isn't to educate people on the finer points of the ancient yogi scripture," she told the Sun.
"The point is to get people to have higher physical awareness for their own physical health and enjoyment."
According to email correspondence between Scharf and the centre, student leaders debated rebranding the program, but stumbled over how the French translation for "mindful stretching" would appear on a promotional poster, and eventually decided to suspend the program.
Student federation official Julie Seguin sympathized with Scharf over e-mail, defending the use of the term "yoga," and saying, "I am also still of the opinion that a single complaint does not outweigh all of the good that these classes have done."
Seguin said "labeling the CSD's yoga lessons as cultural appropriation is questionable (and) debatable" and called on further discussion with the student executive.


  1. Perhaps time for the kiddies to focus on their studies instead of looking for their perfect safe place.

    1. I have to say I totally agree Lou. I read stuff like this and find it mind boggling.

    2. I wonder where they get these ideas. Is it a product of the University system? Is it a learned behavior from mommy and daddy?

      I am totally mystified why anyone one would care about Yoga at a university or anywhere else.

    3. I'm inclined to think it's more learned behavior, but it is also assuredly political correctness gone way off the rails. Many on the right do not like Bill Maher, but I appreciate that he takes the left to task on this issue quite regularly. Somebody should.

    4. Its nice to see that even students who value real education are starting to fight back against this liberally driven tripe... and yes Mike it is driven by the 'lets burn it all down' left.. no doubt though, you are correct, their grand parents were glorified in the old family album showing pictures of them occupying the university admin building while flinging a peace sign.

    5. Of course TS, the left is responsible for everything bad. There is no such thing as abuse and intimidation from those who consider themselves right of center. Thanks for sharing.

    6. While I am sure you can find a couple... mind sharing some links of conservitive types taking over admin buildings... or occupying legislative offices... or burning down neighborhoods????

    7. Ouh... I found one of those conservitive rabble rouser types!

  2. This of course is nothing new to the left nor are the fascist ways employed, a specter of some other political bent.

    Self-styled ‘revolutionaries’ had grown increasingly brazen in their campaign to force concessions from the university. Students and professors who were labeled race traitors received death threats. Enemies of the racial nation were savagely beaten by roaming thugs. Guns were brought onto the campus, and the students dressed up in military uniforms. Professors were held hostage, badgered, intimidated, and threatened whenever their teaching contradicted racial orthodoxy. But the university administration, out of a mixture of cowardice and sympathy for the rebels, refused to punish the revolutionaries, even when the president was manhandled by a fascist goon in front of an audience made up of the campus community.

    The radicals and their student sympathizers believed themselves to be revolutionaries of the left-- the opposite of fascists in their minds--yet when one of their professors read them the speeches of Benito Mussolini, the students reacted with enthusiasm. Events came to a climax when students took over the student union and the local radio station. Armed with rifles and shotguns, they demanded an ethnically pure educational institution staffed and run by members of their own race.

    Eventually, the fascist thugs got everything they wanted. The authorities caved in to their demands. The few who remained opposed quietly left the university and, in some cases, the country, once it was clear that their safety could not be guaranteed.

    The University of Berlin in 1932? Milan in 1922? They would be good guesses as the details are quite similar. But this all happened at Cornell in the spring of 1969. Paramilitary Black Nationalists under the banner of the Afro-American Society seized control of the university after waging an increasingly aggressive campaign of intimidation and violence.

    The public excuse for the armed seizure of the Cornell student union was a cross burning outside a black dorm. This was later revealed to be a hoax orchestrated by the black radicals themselves in order to provide a pretext for their violence.

    This success of course lead to similar actions nationwide towards the universities that offered them an education. One of the interesting aspects of the Cornell incident is that it was ‘parents week’ at the school. The thugs rousted the parents out of dorm beds in the predawn hours calling them ‘pigs’ and forcing them to exit the building via a window into freezing rain. The irony of this was of course because at the time taxpayers weren’t yet coerced into providing loans and seats, it was these vary parents who footed the bill for most of these ‘revolutionaries’ in the first place.

    Of course the squeaky wheel gets the oil and our learning and learning instructions suffer not only by what is destroyed but by what remains and while the left will squeal ‘Foul’ at the connection, youth are the most powerful tools of both the fascist/communist social movements.

    The actors and those behind the scenes core organizers of the ‘make love not war’ peace and equality movement weren’t much different from the youth culture for fighting the bourgeois trinity of school, home and church of 1920 and 30’s Germany and they aren't much different from what is happening on our campuses today... the left thrives in chaos and progressivism has done so since its hatching in the Wilson administration...

  3. "After a walkout by about 200 students, and the presentation by the Black Justice League of a list of demands, about 15 students occupied the office of the president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, overnight on Wednesday. On Thursday,Mr. Eisgruber agreed to begin discussions on campus and with trustees about the demands.

    At the top of the group’s list was a demand that the university “publicly acknowledge the racist legacy of Woodrow Wilson” and take steps to rename the public policy school and residential college."

    1. "A A counterpetition circulating on called the proposal a “dangerous precedent” for future students who “seek to purge the past of those who fail to live up to modern standards of morality,” as well as a bid to erase Wilson’s positive contributions.

      But one Black Justice League member, Wilglory Tanjong, rejected that argument.

      “We don’t want Woodrow Wilson’s legacy to be erased,” said Ms. Tanjong, a sophomore who was born in Cameroon and grew up near Washington. “We think it is extremely important that we understand our history of this campus. But we think that you can definitely understand your history without idolizing or turning Wilson into some kind of god, which is essentially what they’ve done.”

    2. "Perhaps best known for leading the United States during World War I and for trying to start the League of Nations, Wilson as president rolled back gains blacks had made since Reconstruction, removing black officials from the federal government and overseeing the segregation of rank-and-file workers.

      Raised in the South, he wrote of “a great Ku Klux Klan” that rose up to rid whites of “the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant Negroes.”

      During Wilson’s tenure as president of Princeton, no blacks were admitted — “The whole temper and tradition of the place are such that no Negro has ever applied,” he wrote — though Harvard and Yale had admitted blacks decades earlier. Princeton admitted its first black student in the 1940s."

    3. ""Online, sometimes under the cloak of anonymity, many people mocked the group’s efforts.

      “Will the proposed Black Cultural Space have its own water fountain?” a commenter on a Daily Princetonian story asked.""